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Thoto

CHANGES TO SUBMITTAL PROCESS

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To me, this decision means open season on Earthcaches and can lead to some unethical logging of them.

Groan...what is the point of people doing that kind of logging? And what is the point about worrying about the few and far between idiots that do?

 

Glad to see that EC submittals are up and running again. They are my favorite type of caches to visit and enjoy.

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People armchair log every day...it is common practice in some places. Own a virtual cache and you will find you self seeing folks log in 4 or five states in a single day.....an on site photo eliminates the nonsense practiced by these folks.

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People armchair log every day...it is common practice in some places. Own a virtual cache and you will find you self seeing folks log in 4 or five states in a single day.....an on site photo eliminates the nonsense practiced by these folks.

We agree.

Edited by Johnson Party of 6

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People armchair log every day...it is common practice in some places. Own a virtual cache and you will find you self seeing folks log in 4 or five states in a single day.....an on site photo eliminates the nonsense practiced by these folks.

You are right on.

Why didn't we get a chance to discuss this change?

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Right now nobody (regular cachers) really know the answer about photos, but from what a few folks have posted, it looks like they are being asked to change some of their photo requirements.

 

The new rule is very vague in guideline number 6.

 

I know the Earth Team are watching the forums and would like to hear what they have to say.

 

It would be of great value to the developers in keeping the photo requirements on their EC listings. Its the same as signature on a log book.

 

People armchair log every day...it is common practice in some places. Own a virtual cache and you will find you self seeing folks log in 4 or five states in a single day.....an on site photo eliminates the nonsense practiced by these folks.

You are right on.

Why didn't we get a chance to discuss this change?

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It would be of great value to the developers in keeping the photo requirements on their EC listings. Its the same as signature on a log book.

 

I agree as well.

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I agree that a photo is = to a log in a physical cache. Almost everyone has access to some form of digi cam these days, so I don't think it should be an issue.

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The picture concept is the same as a signature in a log book.

 

No, it is not. First, there is no need to upload a photograph of one's signature to the internet, second, there are also no rules how the signature has to look like and third, logs are signed with an alias and not with a real name. Far too many earth cache owners requested photographs that show the finder and did not accept photographs just showing e.g. the dog of the finder and his GPS-r or the hand of the finder and his GPS-r. I hate armchair caching, but I equally hate requirements that force cachers to upload personal photographs.

 

If owners of Earth caches ask politely for optional photographs with no requirement that the finder must be recognizable on the picture, a very high proportion of the visitors will comply with the wish for a photograph and will upload one.

 

Cezanne

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The picture concept is the same as a signature in a log book.

 

No, it is not. First, there is no need to upload a photograph of one's signature to the internet, second, there are also no rules how the signature has to look like and third, logs are signed with an alias and not with a real name. Far too many earth cache owners requested photographs that show the finder and did not accept photographs just showing e.g. the dog of the finder and his GPS-r or the hand of the finder and his GPS-r. I hate armchair caching, but I equally hate requirements that force cachers to upload personal photographs.

 

If owners of Earth caches ask politely for optional photographs with no requirement that the finder must be recognizable on the picture, a very high proportion of the visitors will comply with the wish for a photograph and will upload one.

 

Cezanne

 

Mr. Scout is right on. Sorriy, Cezanne but you are wrong.

I would appreciate knowing why we didn't get to discuss this change like we did the others?

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The picture concept is the same as a signature in a log book.

 

No, it is not. First, there is no need to upload a photograph of one's signature to the internet, second, there are also no rules how the signature has to look like and third, logs are signed with an alias and not with a real name. Far too many earth cache owners requested photographs that show the finder and did not accept photographs just showing e.g. the dog of the finder and his GPS-r or the hand of the finder and his GPS-r. I hate armchair caching, but I equally hate requirements that force cachers to upload personal photographs.

 

If owners of Earth caches ask politely for optional photographs with no requirement that the finder must be recognizable on the picture, a very high proportion of the visitors will comply with the wish for a photograph and will upload one.

 

Cezanne

 

Mr. Scout is right on. Sorriy, Cezanne but you are wrong.

 

How do you proof the quite fuzzy-style statement that the picture concept is the same as writing an alias in a log book? How do you falsify at least my argument that signatures in a log book are quite different from many types of photo log requirements from the point of view of preserving anonymity?

 

I would appreciate knowing why we didn't get to discuss this change like we did the others?

 

In some sense, there has been a lot of dicussion on the topic of photo requirements and there have been many complaints about log deletion for example if a photograph with no recognizable face had been uploaded. I guess that these complaints essentially led to this change of the guidelines.

 

I have no problem with providing some sort of proof that I have visited an earth cache location - I do have, however, a big problem with having to upload certain types of photographs. Earthcaches are about learning something about geology and visiting and enjoying interesting locations and not implementing some kind of facebook-like feature that some people might like, but many others will not like at all. It might also cause some troubles for them in their professional life.

 

Cezanne

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Cezanne, are you in the witness protection program? I kid. I have never required face-shots for any of my previous caches but a GPS in the hand and a unique item in the shot tend to work fine. I think photos should be allowed to be used as a logging criteria if a CO chooses so. I don't think a headshot should be manditory though.

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I said its the same concept. You can go to the log of a physical cache to and see it they signed it, and if they didnt you can delete the log.

 

Even though a "few people" mention they dont like the picture deal you would be surprised at how many people still log EarthCaches.

 

Look at the first original ECs, most of the ECs ask for a picture of the cacher or group.

 

I vote for keeping the pictures up to the EC owner because theres no log book to sign.

 

Geocaching is a social activity.

 

 

The picture concept is the same as a signature in a log book.

 

No, it is not. First, there is no need to upload a photograph of one's signature to the internet, second, there are also no rules how the signature has to look like and third, logs are signed with an alias and not with a real name. Far too many earth cache owners requested photographs that show the finder and did not accept photographs just showing e.g. the dog of the finder and his GPS-r or the hand of the finder and his GPS-r. I hate armchair caching, but I equally hate requirements that force cachers to upload personal photographs.

 

If owners of Earth caches ask politely for optional photographs with no requirement that the finder must be recognizable on the picture, a very high proportion of the visitors will comply with the wish for a photograph and will upload one.

 

Cezanne

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I have never required face-shots for any of my previous caches but a GPS in the hand and a unique item in the shot tend to work fine.

 

Personally, I have no problem with that type of photo requirement. It is, however, a bit difficult to define what's a unique item in some cases.

 

I think photos should be allowed to be used as a logging criteria if a CO chooses so. I don't think a headshot should be manditory though.

 

Basically, we agree. The issue is just that as in the case of the heavily debated caches with ALRs, photo requirements have been misused by quite a number of Earth cache owners. There have been quite a number of caches around where I personally felt that the required ALR was a good idea while some ALRs were just nonsense. The same is true for Earth caches. It is somehow annoying being forces to discusssions with the cache owners in each individual case and being somehow dependent on the mercy of the cache owner whether he allows photographs that are not headshots.

 

 

Cezanne

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I have never required face-shots for any of my previous caches but a GPS in the hand and a unique item in the shot tend to work fine.

 

Personally, I have no problem with that type of photo requirement. It is, however, a bit difficult to define what's a unique item in some cases.

 

I think photos should be allowed to be used as a logging criteria if a CO chooses so. I don't think a headshot should be manditory though.

 

Basically, we agree. The issue is just that as in the case of the heavily debated caches with ALRs, photo requirements have been misused by quite a number of Earth cache owners. There have been quite a number of caches around where I personally felt that the required ALR was a good idea while some ALRs were just nonsense. The same is true for Earth caches. It is somehow annoying being forces to discusssions with the cache owners in each individual case and being somehow dependent on the mercy of the cache owner whether he allows photographs that are not headshots.

 

 

Cezanne

We are not that fer off. My problem is making the change without telling us much less alowing us a chance to put our 2 cents worth in! Maybe we shouldn't so pickie about what kind of pic is needed but some kind of picture should be required.

After all, if I ain't mistaken, didn't the first caches need a photo and that's where it all began?

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did you say MAKE the photo req optional.....I thought that was still to be an allowed req...just not requiring a face in the photo?

 

Yep, here's a quote from the reviewer message: "However I am concerned that your first logging requirement places TOO much emphasis on a photograph. Please make this your final logging task and remove the requirement that one must be sent. It should be optional only." Not a bad thing if you ask me.

Oh joy bring on the armchair loggers....

 

Only if you have requirements that can easily be researched on the Internet. If you visit ground zero, and develop at least one information requirement that can only be obtained on the ground, then you limit this tendency.

 

In fact, have a couple of back-up questions in reserve. I've personally received tidings from Germany with a request for validation of information on virtuals and earthcaches since I had "actually been there." Naturally, I sent a polite refusal to these requests, but know there are cachers out there that would send along the information. If you suspect that the "ground zero" qualifier has been compromised, then switch it out to deter future logchair cachers.

 

It's tough to come up with a unique question about ground zero to avoid armchair logging when the cache has been armchair established. Look, if the earthcache owner hasn't been to ground zero lately, and researches the internet for the "questions" for the requirements, and hence requires a photo for verification, then that same owner shouldn't get angsty about logs of "I was there last year and here's the answer (and/or photo)." Seems to me I've espied some earthcaches where the owner wasn't at the site at the time when the cache was submitted.

 

All this being said, my current two active earthcaches (two additional ones to be established very soon with the submission back up and in working order) have a photo as a final requirement. I think I've asked nicely, and quite honestly do not "require" the photo - I more use it for those that came to false conclusions or given improper answers. They still went through an educational process and learned from the land, but just didn't get the "correct" solution - a photo merely provides further proof they were there and went through the process. I doubt that I'd deny a log find if the cacher demonstrates that they were clearly at the location/cache, but didn't get a photo.

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The change in the guideline was made because CO use the photo as a pseudo logging task. An EarthCache educational logging task should be developed so that the person HAS to have visited the site to answer the questions.

 

When you develop an EC ask this question "Does a person have to visit the site to answer my questions?" If the honest answer is NO, then you need to develop stronger logging tasks and not rely on a photograph to prove a person has visited.

 

If the answer is YES - they have had to visit to answer my questions, then great! Then you can ask for and OPTIONAL photograph.

 

In addition, your OPTIONAL photo requirement can not be used to delete a persons log.

 

We are not, at this stage, requiring people to adjust their existing ECs to meet this change. However, you should do a self review of your own EC and make adjustments to strengthen the logging requirements so that the photograph can be made optional. We may in the future do a review of EC to ensure they meet the existing guidelines.

 

This whole concept has been well discussed in these forums. We feel the current solution is the best for all.

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I think that is unfortunate as once information is gained it can be given freely to others. An image is by far the best proof of a visit.

 

There are lists of virts which are logged simply because the information is available. I would also guess there are lists of these caches which also include the correct information needed to answer these questions thus fulfilling the logging requirements.

 

As a CO I cannot delete a find so long as the information is correct, thus ECs become fair game for anyone who has gotten the information...be it from an actual finder or on some internet forum or list. In theory only one person needs to actually find the cache then list the information publicly (or privately) somewhere for others to copy.

 

I think this is a bad decision.

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I think that is unfortunate as once information is gained it can be given freely to others. An image is by far the best proof of a visit.

 

There are lists of virts which are logged simply because the information is available. I would also guess there are lists of these caches which also include the correct information needed to answer these questions thus fulfilling the logging requirements.

 

As a CO I cannot delete a find so long as the information is correct, thus ECs become fair game for anyone who has gotten the information...be it from an actual finder or on some internet forum or list. In theory only one person needs to actually find the cache then list the information publicly (or privately) somewhere for others to copy.

 

I think this is a bad decision.

 

Ok, I'll throw it out there again -

 

Have a couple of back-up questions in reserve. If you suspect that the "ground zero" qualifier has been compromised by '60s style free-sharing, then switch the "key" question to one of your backups to deter future armchair cachers.

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I guarantee with the picture option going away, the COs of the ECs will be much tougher on the question requirements which will eventually lead to complaints from visitors of the ECs who get their logs deleted for not answering the questions correctly. This will more than likely lead to another change in the guidelines.

 

Again the photo is the same as a signature in a log book. Why do I have to sign a log book at a cache? Think about it.

 

It would be nice if the cachers who take the time to find the locations and write up the ECs could of had a vote on this, it is afterall their cache, right?

 

The change in the guideline was made because CO use the photo as a pseudo logging task. An EarthCache educational logging task should be developed so that the person HAS to have visited the site to answer the questions.

 

When you develop an EC ask this question "Does a person have to visit the site to answer my questions?" If the honest answer is NO, then you need to develop stronger logging tasks and not rely on a photograph to prove a person has visited.

 

If the answer is YES - they have had to visit to answer my questions, then great! Then you can ask for and OPTIONAL photograph.

 

In addition, your OPTIONAL photo requirement can not be used to delete a persons log.

 

We are not, at this stage, requiring people to adjust their existing ECs to meet this change. However, you should do a self review of your own EC and make adjustments to strengthen the logging requirements so that the photograph can be made optional. We may in the future do a review of EC to ensure they meet the existing guidelines.

 

This whole concept has been well discussed in these forums. We feel the current solution is the best for all.

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As a CO I cannot delete a find so long as the information is correct, thus ECs become fair game for anyone who has gotten the information...be it from an actual finder or on some internet forum or list.

 

But on the other hand, even a fraudulent finder will have leant a little bit of Earth science, which is the whole point of Earthcaches.... :lol:

 

Mike

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As a CO I cannot delete a find so long as the information is correct, thus ECs become fair game for anyone who has gotten the information...be it from an actual finder or on some internet forum or list.

 

But on the other hand, even a fraudulent finder will have leant a little bit of Earth science, which is the whole point of Earthcaches.... :lol:

 

Mike

NO, they don't need to even read the cache page, just log the find and send the answers they got from a pal or some anonymous website...

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I will delete any cache log where:

 

1) I feel the finder was not actually there and did not send te right information answering the questions

2) Was there and provided a really great photo - but did not answer the questions

 

Although I ask for photos - I have not deleted logs where the cacher has explained their resons for not publishing a photo (whatever that is). And to date I do not feel that my caches have been compromised.

 

In two cases I actually urge cachers NOT to tke photos because they are in restricted areas where photos are NOT allowed (oil fields in the Middle East).

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What's actually the length restriction on earthcaches, or caches in general now? I've been writing on an Earthcache, I'm at 4 Word-pages now and still feel like there's more to tell about that site :lol: And I haven't even added photos yet :P

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People armchair log every day...it is common practice in some places. Own a virtual cache and you will find you self seeing folks log in 4 or five states in a single day.....

 

Have you ever watched a similar behaviour for Earth caches? I havn't. All log deletions I came across for Earth caches are based on debates on what is a legitimate photograph.

 

While I know quite a number of cachers in Germany, Austria and other countries that still believe that a virtual cache is a cache that is visited in a virtual way, this has never been the case for Earth caches.

 

Cezanne

Edited by cezanne

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What's actually the length restriction on earthcaches, or caches in general now?

 

There isn't any as the gc.com site is regarded. Oregon cachers might experience troubles with long texts, but I feel that Earth caches are not well suited for paperless caching anyway. One option might be to put the logging requirements before the extended information.

 

Cezanne

Edited by cezanne

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There are lists of virts which are logged simply because the information is available.

 

No, I do not think that this is the main cause. The main issue is a miconception of the idea behind virtual caches to the emergence of which Groundspeak ( and in particular some reviewers) has contributed considerably as quite a number of virtual caches had been published where armchair logging was the only option.

 

I would also guess there are lists of these caches which also include the correct information needed to answer these questions thus fulfilling the logging requirements.

 

At least I do not know such lists. What I know are lists of virtual caches where the answer can be found

easily on the internet by using google and whose owners do not delete logs that are only based on a virtual visit.

 

Cezanne

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I said its the same concept. You can go to the log of a physical cache to and see it they signed it, and if they didnt you can delete the log.

 

No, you can just see if the alias of a certain cacher can be found in the log book - you cannot check who signed it. If someone wants to cheat, he could ask some else to write the log entry.

 

The situation for Earth caches with a very high terrain rating is similar as for physical caches of the same type. A log book entry for a cache high up in a tree that can only be reached by climbing does not provide a proof for the fact that the logger has actually climbed up (even if it's his signature, it is no problem to sign the log book on the ground if one visits the cache in a group).

 

For the GSA the key point of Earth caches appears to be the lesson about geology and not so much the issue of demonstrating ones perfect fitness.

I am doubting whether an Earth cache where the focus e.g. lies on canyoning and not the geology of the area really fits well the Earth cache program. Consider e.g. this Earthcache

http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache_detai...ca-bd6a4e004899

Here the challenge is only a physical one. You have to swim through the gorge, take a photograph at a certain point and tell the cache owner the colour of the rock and the approximate height at this point. I am not demonstrating that I learnt a lesson about geology in that manner, but just that I have a certain level of fitness and courage. I guess that geoaware is referring to such types of logging requirements - the geology aspect there is indeed quite weak and the photograph is the essential requirement. BTW: it is possible to hide a physical cache in the area, and there exists one (older than the Earth cache)

http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache_detai...7c-90bda0d259f5

(unfortunately described only in German).

 

When you look at the two caches, you will notice that in the case of the traditional (which also requires a canyoning tour) there exists no photo requirement. So this example also demonstrates that what your wrote above about the logging concept is not true. The owner of the traditional cannot check whether a visitor has actually been there (apart from the fact that I do not think that owners of such caches will not come to check their log books that often).

 

 

Even though a "few people" mention they dont like the picture deal you would be surprised at how many people still log EarthCaches.

 

That's no contradiction. I also have logged Earth caches and will continue to do so. I typically need, however, to contact the owner in advance in case of a certain type of photo requirement and ask if e.g. a photograph of my hand, my GPS-r and perhaps another item suffices. If I get the ok (sometimes the logging requirement is reformulated after my question), I then proceed. If not, I skip the cache and do not bother to write up the answers (I might visit the location nevertheless).

 

 

Geocaching is a social activity.

 

That might be true for you. For me it is definitely not the case.

For me geocaching is an outdoor activity. Social interactions are not the key issue.

I am sure that are cachers who would not mind to cache with their real name, but for most cachers the alias-system is important.

 

Cezanne

Edited by cezanne

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I've probably had about 30 to 40 armchair finds. Keep in mind I own close to 200 ECs and have them from Alaska to DC. I am bound to get a few bogus finds once in a while.

 

People armchair log every day...it is common practice in some places. Own a virtual cache and you will find you self seeing folks log in 4 or five states in a single day.....

 

Have you ever watched a similar behaviour for Earth caches? I havn't. All log deletions I came across for Earth caches are based on debates on what is a legitimate photograph.

 

While I know quite a number of cachers in Germany, Austria and other countries that still believe that a virtual cache is a cache that is visited in a virtual way, this has never been the case for Earth caches.

 

Cezanne

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I've probably had about 30 to 40 armchair finds. Keep in mind I own close to 200 ECs and have them from Alaska to DC. I am bound to get a few bogus finds once in a while.

 

I am not surprised about bogus finds (I also get some from time to time for my virtual cache), but do they really come along with correct and complete answers to your questions? If so, it'd rather guess that the answers to your questions can be found with google and that a visit of the location is not necessary.

For two potential Earth caches locations, I refrained from setting up an Earth cache there just because I could not find any reasonable questions (for example, for some geology trails the texts of all signage boards can be

found on the internet - that's a no go then for me).

 

Cezanne

Edited by cezanne

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Once you develope a EC that gets many visits you will understand what EC owners go through.

 

I've probably had about 30 to 40 armchair finds. Keep in mind I own close to 200 ECs and have them from Alaska to DC. I am bound to get a few bogus finds once in a while.

 

I am not surprised about bogus finds (I also get some from time to time for my virtual cache), but do they really come along with correct and complete answers to your questions? If so, it'd rather guess that the answers to your questions can be found with google and that a visit of the location is not necessary.

For two potential Earth caches locations, I refrained from setting up an Earth cache there just because I could not find any reasonable questions (for example, for some geology trails the texts of all signage boards can be

found on the internet - that's a no go then for me).

 

Cezanne

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Once you develope a EC that gets many visits you will understand what EC owners go through.

 

As the attempt to log armchair finds, I do not think that Earth caches are so much different from virtual caches. Although my virtual cache is located in Austria I did not receive more than a handful of bogus logs over about seven years. People could have copied the answers of others, but they did not. The questions to be answered in my case are, however, relatively hard ones and not alibi questions.

 

BTW, I am not arguing to do completely away with the photo requirement. My two main points are just that

(1) a physical log book cannot avoid cheating and (2) the photo requirement should not be at the heart of an

Earth cache and its logging requirements. For example, it is childish in my point of view to delete a found it log if a visitor of an Earth cache has not taken a photograph at exactly the location mentioned in the cache description (e.g. left from a certain sign, instead of to the right). In my experience, some cache owners misuse their photo requirement either for learning how certain cachers look like or for just demonstrating their power (the visitors of a cache have to do what the owner orders them to do).

 

Cezanne

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I recently put an earthcache in for review but saw today where I was supposed to place the answer to the logging question in the reviewer note. I attempted twice to do this a few minutes ago and it indicated that it accepted the change but did not actually change it on the listing. Has anyone else had this to happen?

 

Edit: I tried to edit the original note and it let me. It still is not letting me write a new reviewer note.

Edited by LoneStarKayaker

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I'm impressed with the approval speed. I submitted 2 EarthCaches Saturday night and they were approved Sunday morning by 10 am. Nice :)

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I recently put an earthcache in for review but saw today where I was supposed to place the answer to the logging question in the reviewer note. I attempted twice to do this a few minutes ago and it indicated that it accepted the change but did not actually change it on the listing. Has anyone else had this to happen?

 

Edit: I tried to edit the original note and it let me. It still is not letting me write a new reviewer note.

I found that the review note section on the edit cache page actually puts a log on the cache that only reviewers can see. Look at your cache page to see if they are in the logs.

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I believe that Terry is correct.....again :)

 

If you want to add additional Notes, I believe you must do it through the Log Entry screen as a "Post Reviewer Note" option in the pulldown menu. Like the Note to the Reviewer box on the Edit page, I believe it will be deleted at the time of Publication.

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